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Ningaloo loggerhead turtle activity at record level

Loggerhead turtle hatchlings
Loggerhead turtle hatchlings Linda Reinhold

A record amount of loggerhead turtle activity was recorded in this year’s Ningaloo Turtle Program annual report.

The program, which started in 2002, is a successful collaboration between the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the Cape Conservation Group.

The data collected helps to predict long-term trends in marine turtle populations along the Ningaloo Coast.

DBCA Ningaloo Marine Park coordinator Dr Peter Barnes said 49 volunteers had come together to monitor the nesting beaches during the 2016-17 season.

“Thousands of hours of hard work contributed to recording the highest level of loggerhead turtle activity seen in the program so far,” Dr Barnes said.

“A record 696 nests and almost 1400 false crawls were recorded in the monitored area over a one month period of the nesting season.

“An additional 1857 green turtle nests and 4248 false crawls were recorded, as well as 67 hawksbill nests and 91 false crawls.”

A false crawl is a track that shows where a turtle came ashore, but left without making a nest.

Dr Barnes said a number of tagged turtles were recorded by volunteers and these sightings provided valuable information on turtle nesting and migration behaviour.

“The standardised survey figures show that the level of loggerhead activity recorded this season was about twice that recorded in any other season,” he said.

“There was also no predation of turtle nests recorded this season by invasive predators.

“This is a fantastic achievement and can be attributed to the rigorous invasive predator control program that the department runs, which includes trapping, tracking and baiting.” 

The program is made possible with ongoing support from Woodside Petroleum and BHP.

To view the annual report, visit:

www.ningalooturtles.org.au/pdf_downloads/reports-publications/2016-17_NTP_Annual_Report.pdf

Media contact: DBCA Media 9219 9999

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @waparkswildlife

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 10:21